Jasper to Vancouver

Dec 19th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Jasper to Vancouver

Driving from Jasper to Vancouver in June 2006. Plan to stay overnight on way to break up journey.

Looking at map either Kamloops or Kelowna look favourites.

Any other suggestions, if not which of the two towns is the better one to stay at?

Many thanks
mickrory is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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It depends on your priorities. Kelowna is a much more attractive place than Kamloops, but if you are looking for the shortest route, then Kamloops is the answer.
laverendrye is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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kamloops is the most convenient stop but in my opinion, rather dull. i would choose kelowna or vernon as a stopping point. by the way, both spots are really nice and if you could spend 2 nights instead of one, i don't think you'd regret it. have fun.
ltt is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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How will you get to Jasper?
If you are not driving the Icefields Parkway, you are missing the prime attraction of Western Canada.
bob_brown is offline  
Dec 19th, 2005, 09:40 PM
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We are flying into Calgary and driving upto Jasper via Banff. We are staying in Banff for 3 nights, Jasper for 2 nights then going onto Vancouver to pick up an NCL cruise ship.

Kamloops looks favourite for expediency but many on here have recommended Kelowna but I prefer to avoid "backtracking" as much as possible.

Another poster on here suggested that the road from Jasper to Kamloops past Mt Robson is a lot of forest and it is more scenic to drive back towards Banff and pick up the Trans Canada. is this correct and if I do that how long will the journey take me?

Many thanks
mickrory is offline  
Dec 20th, 2005, 01:38 AM
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I recommend to stay one night close to Wells Gray Prov. Park and one night in Whistler. Wells Gray PP has very senic waterfalls and nice mountain views. The road via Whistler is also very senic (sea to sky highway and Duffey Lake Road are highlights you should not miss)
tom22 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Hi, Mickrory

I am assuming you are driving from Banff to Jasper via Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway.

I am heavily biased in favor of the Icefields Parkway, and to drive from Jasper to Vancouver via the Icefields Parkway means you would be retracing your steps. Also, it makes the trip longer.

The drive from Mt. Robson to Kamloops is forested, and for me it is not all that scenic once you leave Mt. Robson. I guess that is because I grew up in the pine forests of the South.

Here would be my argument in favor of retracing your route south on the Icefields Parkway:

1. It is the most scenic route on paved road over a 100 mile or so distance that I know of and it does not look the same going south.

2. Once at the Trans Canada, you go through Yoho National Park via Kicking Horse Pass and descend through scneic territory to Golden where you and cross the Columbia River.

3. Once past Golden, you begin the ascent of Rodgers Pass through Glacier National Park. On a clear day, Glacier is beautiful, even if the trails are daunting.

4. Farther on you reach Revelstoke and a very scenic view of the Columbia River valley. You also go past Mt. Revelstoke park.

If you decide to go to Kamloops via Mt. Robson, and if you also have time, rather than taking the Coquihalla Freeway (toll road) from Kamloops to Hope, I suggest taking the Trans Canada and drive along the Frazier River through the Frazier Canyon. The Coquihalla route is faster, but I think the Frazier Canyon route is more scenic.

Depending on when you leave Jasper, I think you can get farther than Kamloops.
If you go by Wells Grey Park, then you will have a nice diversion.

From Kamloops, you would be backtracking a little if you go to Kelowna.
Would it add that much to your journey?
Hmm. I am not sure on that one.
Some perhaps, but the added value is very marginal in my mind.

You will have long hours of daylight at that time of year. The latitude is about that of south England.
bob_brown is offline  
Dec 20th, 2005, 10:32 PM
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Thanks for your detailed response. i guess from what your advising retracing your route on one of the worlds most scenic drives is a pleasure rather than a chore.

From what else has been said on here Kamloops isn't much. Is there anywhere else en route (or just off it) that you would recommend for our over night stay if we take the Trans Canada?

Once again thanks for your help on this one.
mickrory is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 06:48 AM
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Hello mickrory,

It depends how many nights you have to get from Jasper to Vancouver.

Jasper - Kamloops - Hope - Vancouver could be done in a day, if necessary, as it takes about 9 hours, not counting stops. That route employs the Coquihalla Highway (Hwy #5), a toll road between Kamloops and Hope. While it too is scenic, it is the least interesting of the available options. But it does have the advantage of being the fastest. If you were not going to have time in Vancouver, I would suggest buying a day in Vancouver by driving Jasper - Vancouver in one day. I'm a great fan of Vancouver, and believe it's ideal to make time for it. However, I've seen from one of your posts in another thread that you'll have a few days in Vancouver after your cruise. Therefore you don't need to race from Jasper to Vancouver in a day.

Your post in the other thread indicates that you have 2 free nights between leaving Jasper and picking up your cruise in Vancouver.

Tom22 has suggested that, if you take the more northerly route, you spend a night in Wells Gray Provincial Park (near Clearwater) and another night in Whistler. I think that idea has merit, in that Whistler is 2 hours' drive from Vancouver. I believe it would be feasible to drive from Whistler to Vancouver on the morning of the day that you join your cruise.

Tom22's suggested route would take about 12 hours of driving, not counting stops and not counting the detour into Wells Gray Provincial Park. Not that driving time should be the only criterion you should consider. But just so you know.

If you go back down the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise and then west on the TransCanada Highway (Hwy #1), all of the options that are feasible in your time frame would involve driving west through Golden, Revelstoke and Sicamous. Jasper to Lake Louise is roughly 3 hours, Lake Louise to Golden is roughly 1 hour (although I would strongly suggest that you stop to see Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park if you hadn't already seen them during your time in Banff), Golden to Revelstoke is about 2 hours, and Revelstoke to Sicamous is about 1 hour. So this part of the journey, which will be common to all of your more southerly options, will take about 7 hours, not counting stops.

Also remember something else, whether you take a more northerly or a more southerly route. Soon after leaving Jasper on the way to Clearwater or else between Golden and Revelstoke, you'll gain an hour as you cross from the Mountain to the Pacific Time Zone. On top of that, as bob_brown said, you'll have many hours of daylight at that time of year.

Okay, so now you've got as far as Sicamous, you have some decisions to make.

You could go through the Fraser River Canyon, which bob_brown mentioned, and which is indeed scenic and interesting. That route would involve driving west through Salmon Arm to Kamloops and on to Cache Creek. At Cache Creek you would turn south towards Lytton and on to Hope. At Hope you would turn west towards Vancouver.

Again keeping in mind that duration is not the only criterion to use, the Revelstoke - Fraser River Canyon route would take 14.5 hours of driving, not counting stops. It would be 7 hours from Jasper to Sicamous, and then 7.5 hours from Sicamous to Vancouver.

If you drove the Revelstoke - Fraser River Canyon route, you could stop for the 1st night in Revelstoke or Salmon Arm, and you could consider spending the 2nd night at Harrison Hot Springs near Chilliwack.

Jasper to Revelstoke, not counting stops, is 6 hours. Revelstoke is surrounded by an old growth inland temperate rainforest. British Columbia's inland temperate rainforests are unique. No other place in the world has them. All other temperate rainforests are closer to coastlines. The Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park is worth the detour. If you also will have taken the detours to Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake between Lake Louise and Golden, you will have had enough to occupy yourselves on this day.

However, you could press on another 1.5 hours, and spend the night in Salmon Arm, on the shores of the Shuswap Lake. Although Sicamous also is on the shores of the Shuswap Lake, it's a small town. If you do choose to drive beyond Revelstoke on this day, I recommend Salmon Arm over Sicamous, as it's bigger, and you'd have a bigger selection of accommodation.

Revelstoke to Harrison Hot Springs via the Fraser River Canyon would be 7 hours, not counting stops.

Harrison Hot Springs to Vancouver would be about 2 hours. So, from a distance point of view, it would be similar to spending the night before the cruise in Whistler.

Okay, this message's length is unwieldy, so I'm going to continue my thoughts in another message.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 07:14 AM
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Another option, after Sicamous, is to drive through the Okanagan Valley. The major towns in that valley, from north to south, are Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton. The Okanagan Valley is relatively arid, certainly compared with the lush forests around Revelstoke and the Shuswap Lake. However, it has fruit orchards, wineries, golf courses and the Okanagan Lake. For residents of BC, Alberta and others, it's a vacation destination in its own right.

Jasper to Revelstoke is 6 hours, as I've said before, and Revelstoke to Kelowna is 3 hours. So Jasper to Kelowna is 9 hours, not counting stops.

You could get from Kelowna to Vancouver via the Coquihalla Highway in 4.5 hours. However, a more scenic route would be to go from Kelowna to Princeton, through Manning Provincial Park to Hope, and on to Vancouver. There is some beautiful alpine scenery on the way from Kelowna to Princeton and in Manning Park. Kelowna to Vancouver via Manning Park would be 5.5 hours, not counting stops.

The total driving time of this route, not counting stops, would be about 14.5 hours. So if you were using driving time as your only measure, this route would be similar to the Fraser River Canyon route.

If you were going via the Okanagan Valley, many people would recommend that you stop in Kelowna for the night. However, that would involve a rather hard day's drive of 9 hours, not counting stops. Keep in mind it's 6 hours from Jasper to Revelstoke and 3 hours from Revelstoke to Kelowna. And that doesn't take into account the fact that you may stop at Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake and perhaps the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, to say nothing of Kalamalka Lake near Vernon. I think that's a bit too ambitious.

I think it would make more sense to stop for the 1st night in Salmon Arm, which is 7.5 hours from Jasper, not counting stops. Then on the 2nd day you could drive from Salmon Arm through Vernon, Kelowna, Princeton, Manning Provincial Park and Hope, and again consider spending the night at Harrison Hot Springs. In that case your 2nd day's driving time, not counting stops, would be about 6.5 hours (2 hours from Salmon Arm to Kelowna, 2 hours from Kelowna to Princeton, and about 2.5 hours from Princeton to Harrison Hot Springs).

Now, after laying out all of those options for you, which one do I think is best? It's a really tough call. In an ideal world you would have opportunities to do all of them. But for this particular trip you cannot do all of them. You have to choose one.

The one that I think would provide you with the most contrasts would be the one via the Fraser River Canyon. In that sense it might be the most interesting option.

As you may have noticed, my suggested stops for the Fraser River Canyon route and the Okanagan - Manning Park route are the same. In either case I've suggested stopping in Salmon Arm on the 1st night out of Jasper and Harrison Hot Springs on the 2nd night out of Jasper.

So something you could consider doing, if you feel attracted to the more southerly route, is to reserve accommodation in Salmon Arm and Harrison Hot Springs. Then you could defer the decision about which route to drive on your 2nd day out of Jasper until you're actually in the area.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 02:11 PM
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Revelstoke is a neat small city in the valley of the Columbia River. Salmon Arm is also a decent enough place. Either would do.

I will describe my route of two summers ago.

We were driving from Vancouver to Yoho and then back to Calgary.

You could run the route in reverse.

We left Vancouver Island on the ferry and took the Trans Canada almost to Hope. We deviated onto Route 3 and spent the night in Manning Provincial Park where there is a nice lodge.

The next day we drove on to Yoho via Kelowna and Vernon. Our route took us over Rodgers Pass thru Glacier NP and on to Yoho.

I can see a distinct disadvantage driving south on the Icefields Parkway because your trip will be longer.
I think a lot of depends on how much you are impressed with the Icefields Parkway.

I have driven it several times in sections as well as doing the whole thing in both directions.

Some people may not be as captivated by it as I am. If that is the case, then I would take the other route.

I like mountains. Not everybody does.
We all have our own preferences, of course, and mine are fairly clear -- at least to me.
bob_brown is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Many thanks for the usual helpful advice, really appreciate all your help and input, particularly Judy & Bob.

I have booked an overnight in Salmon Arm and I am really looking forward to the scenic drives and hikes you guys have promised us.

We toured New Zealand two years ago and we don't expect our experiences there will ever be surpassed but I expect Canada will push that holiday real close.

Once again thanks for all your help.
mickrory is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 01:50 AM
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We did the reverse trip in 2000. So you could visit MT. RObson and then go to Clearwater and visit Wells Gray park with two lovely waterfalls.Ther next day drive to Vancouver by way of Kamploops.Paul
tovarich is offline  
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